I have good reason to believe that his current school is not stressful. I believe that he has some general dread that comes with Monday, just like it does for a lot of people. The weekend is just too much fun and school is . . . not. It’s school. When he has these episodes and goes on with his day, he later reports being fine. Once, though, we attached his staying home to a test day! Sometimes he is able to be persuaded that Monday is not half bad. Monday is a great day to buy lunch at school, as opposed to making his own. What is served? A huge slab of chicken fried steak and two big scoops of mashed potatoes topped with gravy. Sounds like a good Monday to me.
I adopted a comedy routine for the drive to school on Mondays and some Tuesdays. It is me pretending to be Super Nanny to him. It usually sends him into fits of laughter because I fixate on his grooming, throwing in lots of references to the objects in his nose and the whiskers on his chin. My pitiful British accent makes him snort and gasp for breath, while begging me to stop as we slide into the drop-off line at school. I congratulate myself on his happy glance back at me as he shuts the door. I thought I was going to have to pull out the routine this morning, but he stopped me, saying, “No, Mom, really . . . ,“ and he changed the subject. I guess he knows what I am up to and if he needs it. Or maybe my routine is that bad!